Flowers from America

If anyone ever asks you to send them flowers from America, because “if it’s from America it is more special”, don’t do it.  The idea that flowers can be more special based on some “branding” goes against 2000 years of tradition.  Flowers are special because they are beautiful and then they die.  Sticking in a flower in a shipping container so that you can open it just in time to see it die is just wrong.  I’ve heard that half the roses in America come from Chile anyway, and that’s bad enough.  Now you want to drop-ship flowers from Chile to China?  Don’t even think of it.

The tradition comes from at least the first century B.C.  In the Book of Wisdom, pseudo Solomon chastises the unwise for saying (2:7-8) “let no flower of the spring pass by us.  Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered.”  The original context, where rosebud-gathering was seen as bad, endured 1700 years until Robert Herrick penned the famous words Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may.

Of course, poets have been writing about fleeting youth and beauty for a long time.  For example, Sappho’s melancholy poem from 630BC.  But the two examples given above are the definitive “roses and fleeting beauty” references.

So that’s why you give roses — to symbolize that you’re so smitten by beauty that you couldn’t care less about the future.  You don’t give roses to symbolize that you have discriminating taste or brand buying power.

 

3 thoughts on “Flowers from America”

  1. Thank you for placing the advertisment in my blog’s comments. I approved it because it’s instructive. You mention Shanghai 3 times, while your company can handle flower delivery to every city in China. That is a rather sterotyped assumption you are making about Shanghai girls and western Google-users, but no doubt accurate. Since I do not have any female friends in China for whom I could order these flowers (no, I am not looking for any), I cannot vouch for the quality of the arrangements. Ideally, a loyal reader would order some for a friend and have the friend take a picture of the arrangement so that I could critique. But at least these flowers will be faithful to the spirit of “freshness” moreso than flowers sent by airplane.

  2. YaoFlowers seems way way overpriced. http://www.chinaflowers.cn seems less extremely overpriced, but they’re still charging American flower prices for flowers in China. I’m sure that, if you speak Chinese, you can order flower delivery in China for a more reasonable price.

    I find 12 roses tacky. I like giving a girl one rose. But nobody delivers that.

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